This week, Switzerland’s Federal Council announced the introduction of new rules for those caught speeding on Swiss roads. However, the changes will apply only in specific instances. Serious speeders will continue to face sanctions of one year in prison and the loss of their license for a minimum of two years.
From 1 October 2023, speeding offenses will continue to be sanctioned with a minimum prison sentence of one year and a driver’s license withdrawal of two years. However, the courts will have more discretion to take into account the circumstances of the individual case and to avoid unnecessary hardship. For example, if the perpetrator is not guilty of a criminal offense, the court can impose a sentence of less than one year in prison.
Those with provisional licenses will gain more latitude. If a holder of a provisional driving license commits a minor offence, the probationary period will not be extended and the driving license will not be revoked. The probationary period is only extended by one year if the provisional driver’s license is revoked for committing a moderate or serious offense.
In addition, police and emergency services drivers will be treated more flexibly. The criminal authorities will be required to reduce the penalties for traffic violations by drivers of a police, fire brigade, ambulance or customs vehicle on urgent or tactically necessary manœuvres. Only the difference between the appropriate and actual speed will be considered by the courts.
Not all changes are in favour of speeders. Owners of company vehicles must disclose who was driving the vehicle. I they do not then the company can also be charged with the offence.